According to the Oxfam Report, the number of people living in poverty in South African has increased by 11% from 27.3 million in 2011 to 30.4 million in 2015. File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
The term "the rich keep getting richer" is best illustrated by the $2 billion (R27.7bn) a day increase in the wealth of the world's billionaires over the last year alone. 

This while the poorest 3.8 billion people became poorer by 11% - according to the annual release of Oxfam's Inequality report on Monday.

Speaking at the South Africa release on Monday, Oxfam SA's executive director Sipho Mthathi said South Africa mirrored various global trends in the report, despite the government's efforts over the last 25 years.

"This election cycle in South Africa is possibly the worst, as the population living in poverty has increased by 11% from 27.3 million (people) in 2011 to 30.4 million in 2015," Mthathi said.

The report added that the number of persons in the country living in what is extreme poverty -- that is, people living below the 2015 Food Poverty Line of R441 per person a month -- increased from 11 million in 2011 to 13.8 million in 2015, which represents 25.2% of the population.

"Even the quality of the provision of basic goods and services, especially education and healthcare, remains skewed. The schools where the majority of black South Africans go remain under-resourced as they cater for ever-growing numbers of learners.

"Inequalities are also evident in our health system, where resources are concentrated in the private sector which caters for less than 20% of the population," Mthathi added. 

Black African females in South Africa bore the worst brunt of the poverty, where 49.2% of them lived below the lower bound poverty line in 2015. 

In its report, which is titled "Public Good or Private Wealth", the NGO refers to a "boom time for the world's billionaires", which shows, among other things: 
  • In the 10 years since the financial crisis, the number of billionaires has nearly doubled
  • The wealth of the world's billionaires increased by $900bn in the last year alone, or $2.5bn
  • Billionaires now have more wealth than ever before. In the past year, a new billionaire was created every two days, and 
  • That wealth is particularly undertaxed. Only 4 cents in every dollar of tax revenue comes from taxes on wealth.
For Africa, the huge amounts of money which governments lose each year through tax avoidance also featured prominently, where astonishing outflows of billions of rand were recorded in the report.

"For Africa alone, as much as 30% of private wealth may be held offshore, denying African governments an estimated $15bn in tax revenues. With armies of tax advisors, multinational companies exploit loopholes in tax codes to shift profits to tax havens and to avoid taxes, costing developing countries an additional estimated $100bn of lost corporate income tax," the report stated.